Vagante Priest: Assyrian Christians

From HERE:

[...] The Assyrians, an ancient ethnic group going back to biblical times, are predominantly Christian, being divided between the Syriac Orthodox Church (in whose tradition my own Church is rooted), the Assyrian Church of the East, the Chaldean Catholic Church, and several smaller Protestant groups. Since the rise of Islam, they have had a precarious existence, but perhaps never more so than now. It is estimated that 40% of those fleeing Iraq at this time are Assyrian Christians, even though they make up less than five percent of the Iraqi population. So let us read about them, pray for them, and, if so led, contact our government to advocate for them. It would seem entirely clear that U.S. policy in Iraq must take into account the wellbeing of the Assyrian people.

Abu Daoud says: note that the various Assyrian churches are Oriental Orthodox (non-Chalcedonian) and Catholic (Chaldean Catholic). There was also a division way back about who should be the patriarch if I remember correctly, which resulted in the split between two of the Assyrian churches. Finally, we should remember that like many Christians in the Middle East (Armenians, Copts) these groups form an ethnic minority and are not Arabs, even though Arabic has become their daily language.

Also note that one of the Assyrian Churches dates back to the Council of Ephesus and is thus connected to the Nestorian controversy. Complicated stuff...


FrGregACCA said…
The link above doesn't seem to be working, so here is the link:

Plight of the Assyrians in Iraq

Also, the link to the Assyrian International News Agency:


Brief notes on the three Churches: The Assyrian Church of the East goes back to the 2nd Century, if not earlier. It indeed rejected the Council of Ephesus. This Church has a history of missions largely unknown in the West, reaching all the way to China as well as India. Its Patriarch now resides in the U.S. and it has a website: Holy Catholic Apostolic Church of the East

The Chaldean Catholic Church is rooted in the East Syriac tradition of the above, but is in communion with/under the jurisdiction of Rome. And yes, this involved some problems with the Patriarchy, which, at one time, passed from uncle to nephew.

The Syriac Orthodox Church, which rejects Chalcedon, is one of the so-called Oriental Orthodox Churches. There is a good deal of information concerning it here.
Abu Daoud said…
Sorry bout that, will fix the links, and thanks for the additional info!

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